Allergy/Asthma Natural Remedy

Not sure if the warm weather has brought itchy, puffy, red burning eyes to anyone else yet this season but it kicked off for me this morning with a bang! I have to admit each year I’ve watched (felt) my allergies become a bit worse and a bit worse…but today has topped them all so I looked up some natural remedies. Hope this can help you as well!

Studies on herbs in asthma have shown benefit when compared to placebo, although many studies are poorly designed. Helpful herbs in asthma include Chinese herb mixes, Tylophora indica (Indian ipecac), and to a lesser degree, Boswellia serrata, butterbur and saiboku-to (TJ96). On the other hand, Picrorrhiza kurroa has not been shown to be effective in the treatment of asthma. Despite some promising results with use of the above herbs, a careful review of these studies shows no convincing evidence that herbs are helpful in the treatment of asthma.

Allergic Rhinitis

Studies on herbs in allergic rhinitis have been the more promising, with at least two studies on the use of butterbur in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. One well-designed study showed that butterbur was equivalent to cetirizine (Zyrtec®), while another showed that butterbur was equivalent to fexofenadine (Allegra®). Another well-controlled study on perennial allergic rhinitis showed that biminne was effective for allergic rhinitis symptoms compared to placebo. Finally, a well-designed study showed that a Chinese herb mix was more effective on allergic rhinitis symptoms than placebo.

However, other studies using butterbur show no difference over placebo in treating symptoms in people with intermittent allergic rhinitis. Grapeseed extract was also not found to be helpful in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis.

While herbal supplements do show promise in the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis, there are some clear drawbacks. Herbs are not without side effects (some extremely dangerous), and have known interactions with many prescription medications. Herbal supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in the same manner as prescription medications, so purity is not guaranteed. Therefore, it makes little sense to take herbal supplements because they are safer than prescription medications.